One in Four iPad Purchases Are Made by First-time Apple Owners

Today, research firm NPD Group has revealed in its  “Apple Ecosystem Study” that about 25 percent of buyers in the U.S. have made the iPad their first-ever Apple product. It is also reported that just 33 percent of homes in the U.S. own Apple products. Due to the iPad’s success, that number is also growing as over 37 million American households currently own an Apple device.

The report also revealed that U.S. households  that do have Apple products — 67 percent — own an iPod, and 82 percent of iPod owners said that the media player was their first Apple product. However, as the popularity of the iPod has declined, sales of the other devices is being led by the iPad and iPhone.

The average home owns 2.4 Apple products, but “Apple households” are’t just Apple product owners. Six in ten homes with a Mac also own a Windows PC, and nearly 30 percent own a smartphone other than the iPhone.

NPD Group‘s data is generated after surveying more than 3,000 consumers.  It was balanced to represent U.S. household demographics.

Apple Building New Cafeteria for Employees in Cupertino

The San Jose Mercury News reports that Apple has received approval from the City of Cupertino to build a new 21,468 square foot cafeteria. This new cafeteria will be a few blocks away from its main headquarters. Apple’s new cafeteria is mainly for workers from Apple’s satellite buildings in the neighborhood. Cupertino’s Council website shows where Apple will locate its new cafeteria.

Apple Bandley Cafeteria

This new cafeteria will give them a private location to eat and conduct business without needing to worry about competitors overhearing their conversations. The new cafeteria will as well offer private meeting rooms, lounge areas, courtyard space, and a 70-space parking garage underneath the cafe. It will also have a 1,000 seat corporate auditorium, a fitness center, central plant, parking and new 300,000 square feet research facilities.

“We like to provide a level of security so that people and employees can feel comfortable talking about their business, their research and whatever project they’re engineering without fear of competition sort of overhearing their conversations,” Dan Whisenhunt, Apple’s director of real estate facilities, said at Tuesday’s meeting. “That is a real issue today in Cupertino because we’ve got other companies here in our same business.”

Apple believes that it will see 228 passenger trips per hour during its lunchtime peak and will be able to facilitate double that number if needed.

The company does allow visitors to eat at Caffe Macs (Apple’s on site restaurant at the main campus) if they are accompanied by an employee. However, this new cafeteria will be exclusively for staff.

New Apple Retail chief John Browett Receives $61m in Stock Rights

Back in January, we reported that Apple had appointed John Browett as the new Senior Vice President of Retail. Browett left his position as CEO of Dixons Retail. Today, a couple of filings filed with the  U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that Browett has officially started working with the company.

Browett’s starting date was revealed in an SEC Form 3 filing noting that Browett owned no stock in Apple at the time he began work. The filing reveals that on April 20th he began work at Apple, which is last Friday.

As of that start date, Browett also received a total of 100,000 restricted stock units (RSUs) on Friday, with staggered vesting dates. This ensures Browett is rewarded for staying on the job. At Apple’s current stock price, those RSUs are worth around $61 million.

His first batch of 5,000 units will vest on October 20, and an additional 15,000 units will vest at Browett’s one-year anniversary with the company, which is April 20, 2013.  The remainder of the units will vest in batches of 20,000 units on each anniversary of his start date through the fifth year.

WWDC 2012 Announced, Sells out Under Two Hours

With just a little over six weeks of notice, Apple today has officially  announced that it will hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) from June 11-15 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The ticket went on sale for $1599, and came with a new restriction requiring that purchasers be members of one of the company’s developer programs.

WWDC 2012

Apple says that it will hold over 100 technical sessions for developers, with over 1,000 Apple engineers on hand to provide support for attendees.

WWDC 2012 appears to be focused on both OS X and iOS developers equally, with OS X Mountain scheduled for public release later this summer and iOS 6 ready to be demoed and enter developer testing ahead of a new iPhone hardware update later this year.

Last year, WWDC conference tickets sold out in under twelve hours. This year, tickets sold out just under two hours! WWDC has sold out quickly in recent years too, selling out in eight days in 2010.

iCloud Now Has over 125 Million Users

Whoa, that was fast! Just in January, Apple reported that iCloud had 85 million users. Today, during Apple’s quarterly earnings call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer revealed that the company’s iCloud service has attracted 125 million users in roughly six months since the service launch, and it seems that Apple’s iCloud user base continues to grow at a steady pace.

Apple CEO Tim Cook also revealed that the service had hit 100 million users, which breaks down to an average of over 13 million new iCloud users since January.

iCloud is a free service that stores all your content and seamlessly syncs it across all your devices. It replaced the company’s predecessor paid subscription service called MobileMe with a more seamless and free service. The service being offered for free would probably explain the tremendous growth iCloud is seeing.

Apple Reports Results for Q2 2012: $11.6 Billion Profit on $39.2 Billion in Revenue

Today, Apple has announced its financial results for the first calendar quarter of 2012 and second fiscal quarter of 2012. For this quarter, Apple reported a revenue of $39.2 billion and a quarterly profit of $11.6 billion, or $12.30 per diluted share. This is compared to the revenue of $24.67 billion and net quarterly profit of $5.99 billion, or $6.40 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter. Apple’s quarterly profit and revenue were both company records for the March quarter.

Gross margin was 47.4 percent, compared to 41.4 percent in the year ago quarter. International sales accounted for 64 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones last quarter, which is up 88 percent from the year-ago quarter, and the company sold 11.8 million iPads during the quarter, up 151 percent year-over-year. The company sold 4 million Macs during the quarter, which is a unit increase of 7 percent over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 7.7 million iPods, representing 15 percent unit decline year-over-year.

Apple’s guidance for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 includes expected revenue of $34 billion and earnings per diluted share of $8.68.

iPhone Accounted for 78% of AT&T Smartphone Activations in Q1 2012

Today morning, AT&T reported its quarterly results for Q1 2012. The carrier revealed that it sold 5.5 million smartphones last quarter, and 4.3 million of those activations were iPhones. 21 percent out of the 4.3 million iPhones were new activations. Also, the total 5.5 million AT&T sold last quarter was a new record for the company.

In fact, sales of Apple’s iPhone accounted for over 78 percent of smartphones sold on AT&T. AT&T said that iPhone sales were “helped by AT&T’s 4G network, which lets iPhone 4S download three-times faster than other U.S. carriers’ networks.” The carrier’s results compare to 3.2 million iPhones on its rival carrier Verizon.

AT&T also said that about 30 percent of its existing postpaid smartphone subscribers are on 4G-capable devices. In iOS 5.1, the iPhone 4S began to tell users that they are on “4G” when utilizing AT&T high-speed HSDPA network.

The carrier also reported revenues of $31.8 billion, up $575 million, or 1.8 percent, compared to the same period a year ago. Notice how carriers only disclose sales numbers for iPhone and no other phone. Android’s still “winning” though!


Proview Says Settlement with Apple over iPad Trademark ‘likely’

Lately, Apple and Proview have been involved in a legal battle over the iPad trademark in China. Now, it seems that a settlement will probably occur. Proview’s lawyer has suggested that the company believes it will “likely” reach an out-of-court settlement with Apple in its disagreement over who owns the iPad trademark in China.

The Associated Press reports that the Guangdong High Court is helping to resolve the settlement talks between the two companies. The report also notes that court officials declined to comment on the case with the foreign media. Apple said in a statement that it would never “knowingly abuse someone else’s trademarks” and also implied that Proview is trying to get more money to pay off its outstanding debts.

If the two companies are unable to reach an agreement, the Chinese court will decide the ruling. Apple continues to say that it purchased the Chinese iPad trademark rights from Proview in 2009. However, Proview argues that the deal was not valid since representatives from the Shenzhen subsidiary that own the mark were not present when the contract was signed.


Denver Broncos to Use iPad as Playbook for 2012 NFL Season

At one point, the iPad was stereotyped as “just a consumption” device, but that has quickly changed. Today, The Denver Post reports that 120 players, coaches and other staff of the National Football League’s Denver Broncos will each be given an iPad to use as a digital playbook for the 2012 season.

The iPads will be used as a replacement for the bulky 500 page playbooks. In addition, the iPads will provide the team with equipped plays, scouting sports, video clips, and more. Using the software, players and coaches can write notes and highlight plays, and the data will be remotely stored in the cloud.

In fact, this isn’t the first NFL team to ditch playbooks for iPads. The Baltimore Ravens have also ditched printed playbooks in favor of Apple’s iPad.

The NFL does not allows electronic devices on the sideline during games, but players are allowed to use their iPads to prepare for the game. Starting this season, players will be able to use iPads in the locker room until kickoff.

Apple Agrees to Invest $250 Million at Oregon Data Center Site

Earlier this year, we reported that Apple has confirmed plans for a new data center in Oregon. Now, Associated Press reports that Apple has reached a deal with local governments to finalize its plans for a new data center in Prineville, Oregon.

The report reveals that Apple has agreed to invest $250 million in facilities on its 160-acre property. In addition, the company will offer an annual $150,000 “project fee” in property taxes over the next fifteen years. Apple has also assured that it will bring at least 35 jobs to the center at 150% of the average wage in the county.

Apple paid $5.6 million back in February for this project, and has already started installing a modular data center. This will allow Apple to build out some capacity ahead of construction on the main facility.

The company also maintains a smaller data center in Newark, California and has been building out additional capacity in Santa Clara, California near its corporate headquarters in Cupertino. Apple also recently opened another data center in Maiden, North Carolina, where the company has indicated that it plans to spend $1 billion.